Questions tagged [commentaries]

Questions related to Jewish commentaries, their meaning and their origin.

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Genesis 18:3 Adonai, My Lord or lords and why?

Rabbeinu Bahya (13th Century) wrote that in non-sacred usage the Nun of adonai has a Patah, and only with an Etnahta or Sof pasuk a Qamatz when the word stands on its own. ‘And for this reason in the ...
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Why didn’t Avraham ran the first time he saw the three men?

It’s becomes clear from Bereshit 18:2 that Avraham is looking around from the entrance of the tent and sees three men appearing, cause it reads: והנה שלשה אנשים נצבים עליו. But what did Avraham sees ...
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The Lord looking instead of appearing?

I’ve a short question about Bereshit 18:1 regards the opening words: וירא אליו יהוה. Normally the word וירא (vayera) is translated as ‘He (G-d) appeared’, but the word is similar to וירא (vayara) ...
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Old French in commentaries

Why are there references to "Old French" in some commentaries? I don't have any examples to show but if that is required I could research.
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Why would G-d let angels speak on His behalf?

In regards to this question of mine I would like to ask: In Genesis 18:10 it seems that one of the men/angels visiting Avraham is saying that Sarah will give birth to a son, while in Genesis 18:14 it’...
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64 views

Genesis 18 who is the ‘he’

Avraham stands at the entrance of his tent after his Brit - Bereshit 18 - looking around he sees three men at a short distance (even getting closer). At a certain point they ask Avraham: “Where is ...
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Looking for a source about Avraham compared to Noah

I'm having some trouble tracking down a source I saw earlier that I'd like to review. Around Beresheit 18:18 when Hashem is deciding whether or not to tell Avraham about the impending destruction of ...
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138 views

Source for Baal Haturim Writing Commentary on his Wedding Night!

I've heard that the Baal Haturim wrote the whole commentary on the Chumash on his wedding night! Can someone please provide the source for this?
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50 views

How did Adam and Chava know what's good or bad before eating from the tree? [duplicate]

Hashem Elohim allowed the human being to eat the product which was produced by every tree in Gan Eden, except from the tree of knowledge (understanding) of what’s good and bad. So with this knowledge ...
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44 views

2 Kings 3:27 a wrath came upon Israel

I would like to ask a question related to another question posted. Looking at 2 Kings 3:27 the wrath was caused after the sacrifice to an idol, yet it caused the Israelites to drew back, while they ...
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Where does HaShem stands and in which council?

Psalm 82 teaches that Elohim (אלהים) stands (נצב to position oneself) within the council/congregation (עדת-אל) of El, among/amidst (בקרב) elohiem (אלהים) He judge (ישפט). Someone told me to look at ...
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What other phrase did the rabbis use to describe “yom teruah” besides the ones below?

What other phrase did the rabbis use to describe "yom teruah" besides the ones below? Our rabbis of blessed memory gave additional "phrases" to describe or to name our holy days. For example, the ...
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What is 1,530 a reference to?

In his commentary to Genesis 7:12, R. Isaiah of Trani (the Elder) writes: וכן במניין ישראל אלף וחמש מאות ושלשים ואי אפשר דבר זה שלא היה אחד מהם יתר או חסר אלא כן דרך המקראות לתפוש מניין שלם ואפי' ...
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Gersonides’ Largest List of Lessons

What is the number of most amount of lessons Gersonides presents at once in his Tanach commentary? I find these lessons very interesting and would like to where the biggest cluster of them is to be ...
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Zohar's interpretation of Bereshit 1

The Zohar's interpretation of the words 'Bereshit bara Elohim', usually translated as 'In the beginning G-d created', seems not to understand the word Elohim to be the subject of the verb bara, but ...
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31 views

Memra fixed in or used as a substitude [closed]

Could someone explain to me as to why most Targums fix in the (Aramaic) word 'Memra into a lot of verses, or use it as a substitude for other words written in the Tenach; what's the idea and meaning ...
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What does the Malbim in his perush on אשת חיל in Mishlei, base his derech hamuskal on?

The Malbim in his perush on אשת חיל in Mishlei chapter 31,has 2 Perushim and one is called derech hamuskal. He learns that the whole Eishes Chayil is a Mashal. Where is the Malbim coming from, what ...
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Torah based on Mesopotamian (and other) sources

A lot of parallels that can be found between the earliest docoments of the Torah/Tenach and the Sumerian/Babylonian/Akkadian religions in Mesopotamia. This lead some to believe that the Torah was ...
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How fast did the 2.5 tribes build their new cities?

I can't find a clear timeline of the events that preceded the conquest but in a short recap: Gad and Reuben asked to settle in Transjordan Moses agrees and offers them to build cities(?) and fences: "...
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Why did Rashi choose Hebrew over Aramaic?

Rashi chose a form of Medieval Hebrew to write his commentaries, which facilitates the life of many students, as the Aramaic content in his writing is very low compared to the Gemara or contemporary ...
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Commentaries on aruch hashulchan

Did anyone write a peirush on aruch hashulchan?(on the choshen mishpat part) I am looking for a english or hebrew commentary.
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A puzzle in the Steinsaltz’ Talmud commentary

It is written in Shabbos 83a in the Steinsaltz edition of the Talmud that gentiles are designated the status of zav. The commentary explains that the reason is “So that a Jewish child will not grow ...
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Did the Rambam or the Ramban correspond with Tosafists?

The Rambam and the Ramban lived 1 to 2 hundred years after Rashi, so they must have been contemporaries of at least some of the Baalei Tosfos. Is there any record of written correspondence between ...
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Customs/Habits around having a second child?

Besides the brit milah ceremony, pidyon haben/habat (redemption of the firstborn) or kidush peter rechem (sanctification of the womb's opening) or seder kidushat chaye hamishpacha, (ceremony of ...
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What does the Shabbos Shel Mi mean?

In Maseches Shabbos, in between the perakim of Bameh Ishah and Bameh Beheimah, the Shabbos Shel Mi writes the following: דרשינן סמוכים פ' במה בהמה ובמה אשה כל הקרב הקרב כי לא לחנם הלך זרזיר אצל ...
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A question of theodicy

A lot of people are bothered by the fact that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Chazal answers by saying that it all averages out in the World to Come. But I don'...
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Does Messiah have to be a mere human being? [duplicate]

Based upon what or how come that Mashiach is being viewed as a human being, why can’t Mashiach be a heavenly Shaliach, messenger (angel) or divine being?
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116 views

Metatron an emanation from G-d?

What did Rabbi Simeon claimed when he said that ‘Metatron is a man in the image of G-d’, ‘an emanation from/of Him’? Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai commenting on the Zohar: “There is a perfect Man, who ...
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Three days before Matan Torah and three days of fast before Purim

Bnei Yisrael had to prepare themselves for three days before the giving of the Torah. As a parallel to this receiving of the Torah, the Jews "accepted" the Torah on Purim (kiy'mu v'kiblu). The ...
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Is there an obligatory gathering on Shabat or the Moadim?

In Devarim it is commanded to gather — Hakhel — at the end of the sabbatical year. But is there a command to gather together on (every) Shabat or the Moadim? Vayikra 23 calls such days Mikra ...
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71 views

Sforno to Tehillim 69:3

Is Sforno to Tehillim available anywhere online? I would like to know his commentary to Tehillim 69:3. Edit, I found it on http://www.hebrewbooks.org/42435 but it is published in 1586 and ...
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English translation of R’ Bachya on Sefaria

Regarding the English translation of Rabbenu Bachya’s commentary on Chumash, how much of the English translation was uploaded to the Sefaria site? I see that the introduction to Bereshis was left ...
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115 views

Metatron referred to as YHVH Katan?

Could someone explain me the meaning of יקוק קטן as a reference to the Metatron? Why is the Metatron ‘described/entitled this way? I’ve found many writing about this online quoting Sanhedrin 38b, ...
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Elohim lower than YHWH?

The Zohar contains a reference to Elohim as lower than YHWH (vol. 1, 20a), but what does that mean? Could someone explain to me the plain meaning?
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How can one behold the likeness of G-d, while no one did? [duplicate]

Could someone explain me the meaning of the words ‘he beholds the likeness of HaShem’ from Bamidbar 12:8 in comparison to Devarim 4:15 which states no one saw such a thing’. Because in both verses the ...
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72 views

The name Mispar

Among the many peculiar and unusual names found in Tanach, some of them have reasons and explanations for why it was given. And some do not. What about Mispar found in Ezra 2:2. אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ עִם־...
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Spiritual Boredom

Because of all the routines, standard prayers, repeating cycles etc, someone told me that going to the synagogue became quite boring for him. He still saw the value of those things, but he didn’t ...
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How to understand this Tosfos in Megila 5b

This is a Tosfos from Megilah 5b which is talking about lessening the different type of work(s) of simcha on Purim. However, I'm a bit troubled on understanding the last 6 words. What does Tosfos mean?...
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Saw the G-d of Israel? [duplicate]

In Exodus, G-d tells Moshe that "no one can see Me and live" (Exodus 33:20), but then in Exodus 24 Moses went up with Aharon, his sons, and 70 of Israel's elders, and they saw the G-d of Israel. . . . ...
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How can something contain the Presence of the Almighty?

How could a building like the Mishkan or the Beit HaMikdash, or a natural phenomenom like a cloud (at Har Sinai) contain the Presence of the Almighty (Ubiquitious, the infinite volume; omnipotent; ...
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Prohibition to eat blood [closed]

Leviticus 7:26-27 teach us about the prohibition to eat blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of the dwellings. So is one allowed to eat the blood of the fish? Is one allowed to eat blood ...
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The 62 Years of Darius/Cyrus, and the 62 Weeks of Daniel

Has ancient or medieval Jewish tradition, spanning from the Talmud to the Shulchan Aruch, ever connected these two passages from the Book of Daniel ? Daniel 5:30-6:1  That very night, Belshazzar, ...
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Where did Moshe stand in the Tabernacle?

Where did Moshe stand when HaShem spoke to him from the Ohel Mo’ed (tent of meeting), from above the cover of the ark from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony? (Leviticus ...
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Root of the word פרעה

The Hebrew word פרעה (Pharaoh) is probably directly derived from (a phonetic way to pronounce) the Egyptian word. But it reminded me of the Hebrew root פרע as seen in Exodus 32:25 which is actually ...
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69 views

Have known him OR to have made him known

Bereshit 18:19 starts with the words 'For I have known him (כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו)', the Sefaria website translates these words as 'For I have singled him out', Rashi as 'I know him intimately'. In line ...
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79 views

What causes a person to do Avodah Zarah?

In relation to "Definition of Avodah Zarah": I would like to know what drives or causes a person to worship Avodah Zarah in the first place; i.e. what lies at the core of it? Is there a reason why it’...
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133 views

Who wrote Ikar Siftei Chachamim?

Siftei Chachamim (שפתי חכמים) is a super-commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Torah, written by the 17th-Century CE Polish scholar Shabbethai Bass. It tends to be included in Mikraot Gedolot ...
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קול ענות אנכי - The sound of selfishness?

When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the knowledge that his people corrupted themselves (dealt corruptly) - quickly turned aside the way which HaShem commanded them, making a molten calf, ...
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Change of the heart

In some places (like Mishlei 3:3 and 7:3) our hearts are compared to luchot (tablets) on which one should inscribe the words of HaShem. In another places our hearts should be circumcised: Devarim 10:...
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Link between rejoice and redemption

Once I found a commentary which made a wordplay, connection or link between rejoicing (גִּיל) and redemption (גָּאַל). I liked the idea that redemption and rejoicing would go hand in hand. Is there ...